What is it?
NSU is an inflammation of the urethra (water passage) in men, which can cause discomfort or pain when you pass urine. It can be easily treated with antibiotics. The condition is known as NSU because in the past, the cause of the urethritis was unknown. Now it is known that for about half of the men who have symptoms, no specific germ/bacteria is found, in the other half of NSU cases, a bacteria called chlamydia causes the infection.
Testing for NSU
NSU can be immediately diagnosed at a sexual health clinic. A swab is taken from the end of the penis and any material gathered on the swab is looked at under a microscope.
NSU is treated with the same antibiotics that are used to treat chalmydia. This is easy to take - just 4 tablets (or a very small beaker of liquid if you cannot swallow tablets) It is one dose and usually has very few side effects.
Symptoms can come back. Occasionally men who have had treatment for NSU in the past can find that symptoms come back. Sometimes this can be associated with drinking large amounts of alcohol, but often no cause can be found.
If your regular sexual partner(s) is/are not treated it is very likely that you will be re-infected and will get NSU again. Think back over the time since your symptoms started and the four weeks before that time. Any of those sexual partners/contacts in that time period may be carrying the germ/bacteria that is causing your NSU. Those people should be told to get treatment. If you want the Health Advisers to tell your partners/contacts for you, see “Breaking the Chain of Infection
” for the Health Advisers’ contact details. You should not have sex (with or without a condom) until 7 days
after you and your regular partner(s) are treated. If you have sex too soon after being treated, it is possible you will be re-infected with the germ/bacteria causing NSU.